Is this the year you promised you’d really get out there and… do something truly new? Really start to live? Treat your family? See just how gob-smackingly beautiful your country is?

So, for all of the above, we want you to join us on one of the easiest and most exhilarating adventures anywhere – helihiking in B.C. next summer.

No skill or endurance is required. Just a sense of adventure (which may have lain dormant in your heart for years) and a desire to smell the wild roses. And just as there are no conditioning or skill requirements, there are no age limits either. You can be, 8, 18 or 81 and you’ll be enlivened by the whole thing. You can also be a marathon runner or mountain climber. Or you can also be wearing your Medic Alert bracelet the entire trip, as five of us recently did. You can bring your partner, your grand-kids, your bestie.

We’ve taken friends heli-hiking for the past few summers and all of them (and I mean all) have come home raving about how gorgeous, different and wonderful it all was. And from door to door, the whole amazing experience is just five summer days.

So what is heli-hiking?

It’s letting a helicopter take us up to a lodge high in the mountains….. to vistas, peaks and valleys that people simply don’t get to (or would have to spend literally days of hard slogging to reach). We stay at the lodge for four nights and hike for three full days. Late each afternoon we return to one of the most relaxing – and scenic! – hot tubs in the world. Then it’s a snooze, drinks and a stupendous dinner. (Health Warning: don’t even try to lose weight on this trip.)

But even better than the scenery and the meals is the company; we’re staying at Bugaboo Lodge which holds 48 people and you’ll meet some fascinating fellow travelers from all kinds of places.

The trips are run by Canadian Mountain Holidays, the people who invented the sport of heli-skiing, and the art of heli-hiking. CMH has been persistently declared “The Best Adventure Travel Company on Earth” by the National Geographic Society.

The adventure officially starts at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30th when the CMH bus meets us all at Calgary International Airport for the 3.5 hour drive directly to a farmer’s field near Invermere, B.C. From there, the helicopter flies us up to the spectacular Bugaboo Lodge where we hike our hearts out. On the morning of Saturday, July 4th the CMH bus picks us up and drives us back to Calgary International where we catch our flights home.

Yes, this is the Canada Day weekend, and we can’t think of a better place to celebrate it and our country than on one of its most beautiful vistas.

The trip isn’t cheap: basically $4,650 per person double occupancy (and $5,160 single) from the minute we’re picked up by CMH in Calgary until we’re returned there. It includes everything (transport, heli-hiking, guiding service, all meals, and even free hiking boots and raingear). The only extras are your bar charges, anything you buy in the Lodge shop and any gratuity you are inspired to leave for the staff. And fear not, oh you technoaddicts: the Lodge has high-speed Wi-Fi, so you can get online and do your e-mail.

As for the value, have a look at this. Indeed, heli-hiking has been called a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and from what I hear it’s not nearly such fun after your lifetime!

So if your end-of-summer resolution is to finally and decisively make time for discovering parts of the world – and yourself -you haven’t had a chance to move to the front of your life, here’s your chance. Please grab it.

First, let us know ASAP. Then call Rylan Decorato at CMH at 403-762-7100 and tell him you’re with the “BobandJean Group”. He’ll get your credit card information and let you know more details.

We leave it to you to make your own air bookings to and from Calgary. Remember, the bus leaves promptly at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30th from Calgary International. So book an early flight leaving Toronto that morning (or arrive the night before). As for your trip home, please only book flights east that leave after 5:00 p.m. on Saturday July 4 just in case there’s roadwork or rockslides on the highway coming back from the lodge.

One last thing to remember: lots of people go to the mountains; a few of them go in the mountains. We’re going on the mountains.

So yes, Heaven can wait. But can you?

Here’s The Small Print. Please read it.

  • A 20% non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required by CMH at the time of booking. The balance will be due on April 6, 2020.
  • CMH requires every guest to sign a standard waiver no later than this same date.
  • CMH reserves the right to take photographic or film records of any of its trips and use any such photographic or film records for promotional and/or commercial purposes, as well as approve such use by third parties with whom CMH may engage in joint marketing, without any remuneration to Ramsay Inc., or the guest.

P.S.  Here are six more reasons to do this.

1. From Debra Bennett…

“I cannot believe I lived over five decades without knowing what it is to be on a mountain. A missing piece has fallen into place i

n my world, and like the arrival of a child, it makes me grin like an idiot to think of it. It starts with the skies. I have seen skies from Africa to Fiji. I have never seen skies as clear as mountain skies.

Then there are the meadows. I had no idea there were meadows in the mountains, meadows fit for elves and pixies. I expected to see hobbits around every turn and across every babbling brook, popping out of the green-blue glacial lakes.

And then there are the people. I was there on my own and I was there with a few dozen close friends most of whom I had just met. We relaxed with each other on day one. When I knew I could go no further on the sheer face rock climb with the rest of my group, Bob the guide guided me down to where we could start on a different, less steep route up to meet the others. He adjusted my trip to my fears. I give this trip 15 out of 10.”

2. From Wendy Cecil…

“You COULD just hike on over to a rooftop bar in Toronto OR you could actually hike the rooftop of Canada by flinging yourself into a heli-hiking adventure in the Bugaboos!

Having hiked in the Canadian Arctic & sub-Arctic, Scotland, Ireland & England, New Zealand, France, the USA and several countries in Africa, my daughter Tess and I were keen to try the Bugaboos – and we were thrilled with the entire experience – the guides, the landscape, the Via Ferrata, the spirited company (oh yes, and the food!)

Balletically leaping from peak to peak, our giant helicopter spilled us out on one glorious hike after another in a wide variety of mountain terrains. And, the Via Ferrata, while a bit daunting to contemplate, truly is an adventure well worth doing. You will surprise yourself – whether you are super-fit or just cautiously optimistic about what you might be able to do.

Thinking back on those magical few days in the Bugaboos – the ascents and descents, the cold, the heat, the sun, the shadows the Via Ferrata, the company and the conversations have whirled together in a delicious masala of sensations, vistas and memories. There is something utterly divine about being high and free, spent with physical exercise, enraptured with the power of the mountains and – knowing you are in your OWN country! We are blessed.”

3. From Portia Leggat…

“Bob Ramsay is well known for his many enthusiasms, and is most happy when sharing them with others. Having resisted his hyperbolic promotion of the CMH heli-hiking expeditions for years, I happily accepted his invitation to join the July 2012 group for 3 days of hiking in the Bugaboo mountains of British Columbia. The trip far exceeded my expectations!  The daily helicopter rides and hikes along breathtaking mountain ridges and beside glacial lakes, plus the challenging day climbing the Via Ferrata mountain wall were exhilarating. All equipment was provided and the guides were exceptional. The rooms (and outdoor hot tub) boasted spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the delicious meals were worthy of Michelin stars. This trip is a “must-do” for outdoor enthusiasts of any age, size or shape. Especially with Bob, Jean and their intrepid gang of followers.”

4. From Mary Wemp…

“A dear friend of mine mentioned the amazing heli-hiking trip she and her husband had taken with Bob Ramsay in 2011. Looking for an insurmountable adventure I signed up including some of my family members.The trip exceeded my expectations in every way.

Heli-hiking was the answer to my quest for adventure.The beauty of the terrain was like a never ending movie, areas of pristine snow, turquoise glacier lakes, alpine meadows abounding with wild flowers, and cranky mountain ridges.

The greatest challenge for me was the Via Ferrata. Upon reaching the top I felt a true sense of jubilation as well as relief.The comfortable lodge, beautiful meals, attentive staff, guides, and pilots all contributed to this perfect escape from city life.This is one trip I will never forget!”

5.  From Michael Sherman…

“When I arrived, I didn’t really appreciate what was in store for me. In the end, I’m so glad I was able to take the trip, do the hikes and even climb the Via Ferrata. As for the food, every morsel was spectacular, but if I had to choose  a favourite meal, I’d point to the scallops. They were sublime.”

6. From Sonja Smits…

Magnificent scenery, challenging hikes, patient and superb guides, surprisingly delicate beauty, glacier lake dip, great company, a few blisters and sore muscles followed by the best jacuzzi view in the world. How lucky we were to experience the startling beauty of our country.”